Spider-Man, Doctor Strange co-creator Steve Ditko dies aged 90

Comic book fans are mourning their loss.
Comic book fans are mourning their loss. Photo credit: File

The co-creator behind Spider-Man and Doctor Strange has died, aged 90.

Steve Ditko passed away on June 29 in Manhattan, the New York Police Department confirmed to Variety.

Ditko fell in love with comic books at a young age. He got his first job in the industry in the US Army, where he drew comic strips for Army-syndicated newspapers.

After leaving the Army, he spent 1950 learning from Batman artist Jerry Robinson before meeting future Marvel Comics CEO Stan Lee. He would go on to be one of the first artists to work for Marvel.

Ditko was one of the key creators in defining the graphic look of superhero Spider-Man, including his colours, costume and web shooters. He was also instrumental in bringing Doctor Strange to life.

After leaving Marvel in the mid-'60s due to disagreements with Lee, he moved to DC comics and created Batman villain the Creeper.

His loss has been mourned by fans, who are paying tribute to him on social media.

"Steve Ditko was true to his own ideals," wrote author Neil Gaiman. "He saw things his own way, and he gave us ways of seeing that were unique. Often copied. Never equalled. I know I'm a different person because he was in the world."

Filmmaker Edgar Wright called him "beyond influential".

"RIP to comic book legend Steve Ditko, beyond influential on countless planes of existence," Wright tweeted.

"He never truly profited from his comic creations that have lasted for decades, but his work will never be forgotten."